DRCLogo Wide v06 Web 01

Maryland’s authoritative guide to divorce.

It is important to understand the law on marital assets. An easy way to think about assets is to use colors. Before you marry, your money is blue, and your spouse’s money is red. The day you marry, any money you earn is purple, regardless of who earns the money. Red or blue money, as well as all assets which are clearly red or blue, are not marital and belong to just one spouse. Purple money or purple assets? These are marital, regardless of who earned the money and who is the record owner. This applies to all assets, including retirement assets. This rule applies even if you and your spouse kept your money separate throughout your marriage. There are many exceptions to and variations on these rules too numerous to list here.

Just as assets can be red, blue or purple - - so too can debt. Did the debt pre-date the marriage? Is the debt a result of expenditures which benefited the marriage or from expenses which had nothing to do with supporting the marriage?